There's no messing about when it comes to Andy Cook's priorities as head coach of Norwich City Women.

The former Nottingham Forest boss and Newcastle United coach officially starts work on July 1, when he'll become the first full-time chief of the Canaries' women's side.

Earning the right to play will be the principle he impresses upon his new players first, although positive attacking football is next on the list once that's achieved.

"We've got to fight and battle for every ball," he said. "We've got to make sure that first and foremost we earn the right to play.

"That's something that people listening who have played for me previously and anyone that knows me would say will be the first thing that comes out my mouth every session and every game.

"If we don't earn the right there's no point, it doesn't matter who we're playing against. That's first and foremost what everyone will see when they come to watch.

"After that, if we're in the right place and we've done that, we can start to play football. It's important for me that we get the ball down and play, and that we're fluid in our shape and possession.

"We want to be aggressive out of it, and then nice and calm and composed when we're in it. It'll be an exciting time and an exciting thing for the fans to come and watch, hopefully an environment where the players can thrive and enjoy every moment."

Fight will come first for the Canaries under CookFight will come first for the Canaries under Cook (Image: Richard S. Brown)

Predecessor Martin Herdman lasted just six months before being sacked, despite remaining unbeaten in all of his league games in charge of the side. Cook says he's looking for a long-term project in Norfolk, however, and feels he's set up for just that.

"I wanted to work in a place and environment where I could shape and help model something that is going to progress long-term and it's going to challenge me, and it's going to a city like Norwich and a club like Norwich," he continued.

"When I came and met with Flo and came to the training ground, it's as good as anywhere in the country. I think it's a secret that you've all been keeping here over in Norfolk, because the facilities here are unbelievable!

"Everyone I've met here at Norwich has been fantastic, and speaking to the staff and the players, it's just fantastic. I can't wait to get going.

"The fact that I have to move to Norfolk, it's something that I'm really excited about. I've heard there's a lot of good things around here, some of the places that I've never really visited before. I'm excited to visit the area, and see what Norfolk has to offer."

Despite two good seasons, successive Norfolk Senior Cup wins and impressive growth off the pitch, City's women remain in the fourth tier they occupied when they became an official part of the club in 2022.

The task for Cook is being the factor to finally push promotion over the line, and he feels his experience of big clubs and expectant fanbases gives him the opportunity to do that.

Asked for a message for supporters by club channels, he said: "It would be to come and show your support as much as you can week in, week out.

"The girls will love it when there's thousands of fans coming to watch us, whether that is at Carrow Road or The Nest. We're going to be doing everything we can to put on a show every time that we go and play.

"We'll be representing the club and the city as proudly as everyone wants. If we can do that on the field, the support shown off it, it'll be a recipe for success this season.

"That experience of playing at St James' Park in front of 30,000 people, that was fantastic. The fans up there are unbelievable. I'm from the north east but I'm not a Newcastle fan, and until I started working there I didn't realise how big it was.

"At Carrow Road I know we had over 7,000, and when we play a game we love to see the fans fill the stadium as much as they can and get behind the players."